As we end this month’s intention of GATHER. I can’t seem to stop thinking about our recent family vacation. I realized there were some big key takeaways that translated into something as simple as a family trip. In doing this work of gathering with purpose, it truly brought me joy, gave me stability, and left me feeling whole.
Yes, there were toddler meltdowns, tired kiddos, and a cracked rental car windshield, but if you asked me if we would do it again, I would say YES, because it was purposeful and just what we needed.
Further along in The Art Of Gathering by Priya Parker, the focus of purpose is prevalent in just about every aspect. Without overthinking it, if you focus so much on your purpose everything truly comes together.
Here are some key takeaways from later in her book that I truly love:
- Be willing to exclude people
- Be willing to make uncomfortable decisions
- The space embodies a vibe
- Create purposeful heat
- Don’t give permission for people to slide out, create a meaningful closing
Obviously for our family vacation it was just our immediate family. However, I know a ton of people who travel with a huge group pack, or even for us it’s making sure that if the activity or the event/gathering is for specific people…. for instance, I’m deathly afraid of caves. Like bad! So, it’s in mine and my husbands best interest for me not to go on the cave tour with our kiddos.
In that decision two of those takeaways apply: be willing to exclude people and be willing to make an uncomfortable decision. The uncomfortable decision: me opting out.
Truth be told, we ended up the day before the cave tour was planned not being able to buy tickets and had to scrap the idea all together. So the space embodied a vibe because I was able to actually be physically present the next day and we ended up doing an amazing hike instead.
Creating purposeful heat can definitely be a little tricky. You want to shake things up without shattering the event/purpose. For us, this meant getting the kiddos to try new foods at new restaurants and turning off their electronics on our down time to play games or play outside. It was nice to have electronics and movie time be for zoning out when we were exhausted instead of being used for boredom.
Lastly, under normal family vacation circumstances we are last minute packing to go back home and there isn’t much time to do something fun on the last day. Most of us know, the last day of vacation is full of travel stress to get back home and everyone’s totally exhausted.
We stayed at this super awesome house in Colorado that was secluded on a mountain overlooking Pike’s Peak and they had what our kids called “a jumpy thing” also known as a trampoline. So, the last 30 minutes of our trip, we let them jump on the jumpy thing and extra little bit. My husband did all the adult stuff like put the suitcases in the car, make sure we grabbed our chargers, and put all the trash in the same bag.
For us, letting the kids have fun and jump while not dealing with suitcases and closing details gave them a meaningful and fun close to our trip. Also, it helped them sleep in the car on the way to the airport….that was just a bonus.
I didn’t realize the impact of adding purpose to events, even for something like a family vacation. By adding purpose to zoom calls, family dinners, lunches with friends, or basic work meetings can make a huge impact on our lives and those people we interact with on a daily basis.
Get committed to purposeful living, by gathering with purpose.
**Disclaimer: I’m not claiming your family vacation will be perfect. I’m just saying you might have some awesome unforgettable moments.